The Senior Space March 27, 2017

The Senior Space March 27, 2017

Excellent timing! Remove the Federal healthcare threat so the General Assembly can debate the state budget on the very day the process gets underway.

Half of Colorado’s seniors live in rural Colorado. As of now, $528M dollars is to be cut from the State Hospital budgets. In rural Colorado, these hospitals represent so much more than the vital services they provide. They are the economic engine in parts of the state where few economic opportunities present themselves. How can we treat our rural neighbors with a fairer hand?

The 27 discussion continues; and, that in itself, is good news as this issue has been benched for the last four years. The affordable housing mess bottlenecks choices facing our caregiving community.

It appears the property tax exemption for many seniors is avoiding the axe; and, that pleases many.


New Bills we are watching

HB-1284
Data System Check for Employees Serving At-risk Adults. This bill establishes a state level program within the department of human services for a check of the department’s Colorado adult protective services data systems. Health, Insurance & Environment. Apr 13th, 1:30p, Room 0107

HB-1290
Colorado Secure Savings Plan. A retirement savings plan for private-sector employees in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction individual retirement account. Nothing scheduled

HB-1293
Local Government Officials on Nonprofit Boards. This bill specifies it is neither a conflict of interest nor a breach of fiduciary duty or the public trust for a local government official to serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit entity. Nothing scheduled


Bills we are watching

*Strongly Support      **Support      ***Oppose       ****Strongly Oppose

***HB-1026
Reverse Mortgage Repayment when Home Uninhabitable. Concerning the suspension of a borrower’s obligation to repay a reverse mortgage when a force majeure renders the subject property uninhabitable as a principal residence. Local Government Committee, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0107

**HB-1045
Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. Appropriations, nothing scheduled.

**HB-1067
Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. Signed by the Governor

**HB-1080
Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 28th, Upon Adjournment, 0107

*HB-1087
Office of Public Guardianship Pilot Prevention Program. The bill creates the office of public guardianship (office) within the judicial department to provide legal guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults. Judiciary Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations.

HB-1094
Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Clarification of services that should be covered whether via telehealth or in person. Signed by the Governor

*HB-1116
Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance. This bill continues energy-related assistance to low-income households. In Senate, Ag, Natural Resources & Energy, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*HB-1121
Patient Safety Act. The bill requires applicants for initial licensure or certification, as well as current licensees and certificate holders, to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. Includes: Podiatrists, Dentists and dental hygienists, Medical doctors, physician assistants, and anesthesiologists; Nurses, Certified nurse aides, Optometrists and Veterinarians. Finance, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*HB-1126
Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. General Orders, Second Reading Mar 27th

*HB-1139
Medicaid Provider Compliance Billing Safety Rules. The bill subjects a provider of Medicaid services to a civil monetary penalty if the provider improperly bills or seeks collection from a Medicaid recipient or the estate of a Medicaid recipient. Public Health Care & Human Services, Apr 11th, 1:30p Room 0107

*HB-1143
Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. The bill directs the office of the state auditor (OSA) to conduct or cause to be conducted an audit of client communications, including letters and notices, sent to clients or potential clients in Medicaid programs. The audits will be conducted in 2020 and 2023 and thereafter at the discretion of the state auditor. Signed by the Governor

****HB-1159
Remedies for Forcible Entry and Detainer. The bill adds to the current descriptions of forcible detainer the act of a person preventing an owner from access to or possession of property by locking or changing the lock on the property. The bill creates a procedure for the plaintiff to seek a temporary, mandatory injunction giving the plaintiff possession of the property if a complaint for forcible entry or detainer is filed. The procedure requires the plaintiff to store any personal property found on the property but allows the plaintiff to recover the costs of the storage. The bill establishes as new crimes related to forcible entry and detainer the crimes of unlawful occupancy and unlawful reentry. Judiciary + Appropriations, nothing scheduled

**HB-1175
Domestic Violence Awareness Barbers Cosmetologists. A training bill to improve awareness. General Orders, Second Reading, Mar 30th

***HB-1176
PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Retirees Employed By Rural School Districts. Concerning an extension of the employment after retirement limitations for retirees of the public employees’ retirement association employed by a rural school district after retirement. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

HB-1188
Harassment Sexual Orientation or Disability. The bill adds physical or mental disability and sexual orientation to the categories described in the harassment statute to make the statute consistent with Colorado’s law concerning bias-motivated crimes. Senate, State & Military Affairs, nothing scheduled

**HB-1191
Demographic Notes for Certain Legislative Bills. The bill requires the staff of the legislative council to prepare demographic notes on legislative bills in each regular session of the general assembly. The speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, the president of the senate, and the minority leader of the senate are authorized to request 5 demographic notes each, or more at the discretion of the director of research of the legislative council. Finance, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

HB-1222
Create Family Caregiver Support Fund Tax check-off. Caregiving costs in Colorado and across the nation are through the roof with no end in sight. Finance, Mar 29th, Upon Adjournment Room LSB-A

**HB-1242
New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue. This bill requires a ballot question to be submitted to voters in November 2017. The voters will be asked to approve a temporary sales and use tax rate increase with the money going solely to fund transportation infrastructure issues. Transportation & Energy, Mar 27th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

HB-1246
Task Force Recommendations for Heart Attack Care. A task force was created out of SB13-225 to improve quality of care to STEM1 heart attack patients. This bill implements or modifies the recommendations of that panel. Third Reading, Final Passage, Mar 27th

*HB-1253
Protect Seniors from Financial Abuse. If licensed securities professionals (qualified individuals), while acting within the scope of their employment, reasonably suspect that an elderly or at-risk person is the subject of financial exploitation, the bill requires the broker-dealer or investment adviser to report to the commissioner of securities (commissioner). Public Health Care & Human Services, Mar 28th, 1:30p, Room 0107

**HB-1264
PACE Ombudsman Program Add Local Ombudsmen. There is urgent need to get more boots on the ground, especially for our rural citizens. Ombudsmen are our eyes and ears for those who have no voice. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 30th, 1:30p, Room 0107

HB-1279
Construction Defect bill. Require majority approval by homeowners to initiate a legal action against a builder rather than leaving that decision to a homeowner association board. State & Military Affairs, Mar 29th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A


****SB-003
Repeal Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. Repeals the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2010 and gives that entity one year to ‘wind up its affairs’ by January 1st, 2018. Finance Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations.

****SB-004
Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. State & Military Affairs, April 13th, Upon Adjournment, Room LSB-A

**SB-011
Study Transportation Access for People with Disabilities. How can advanced technologies improve and increase access for people with disabilities? This would be a pilot project throughout the year. Signed by the Governor

***SB-043
Transportation Network Company Drivers Medical Certificate Not Required. The bill eliminates the requirement for a medical certificate for persons who drive for transportation network companies. Transportation & Energy, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

SB-045
Construction Defect Claim Allocation of Defense Costs. Concerning a requirement for equitable allocation of the costs of defending a construction defect claim. This is just one bill expected on the construction defects issue. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations

**SB-065
Transparency in Direct Pay Health Care Prices. Concerning a requirement that health care providers disclose the charges they impose for common health care services when payment is made directly rather than by a third party. House, Third Reading Passed, no Amendments

SB-075
Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*SB-091
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

SB-105
Consumer Right to Know Electric Utility Charges. Concerning consumers’ right to know their electric utility charges by requiring investor-owned electric utilities to provide their customers with a comprehensive breakdown of cost on their monthly bills. Transportation & Energy, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

*SB-121
Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-133
Insurance Commissioner Investigation of Provider Complaints. Requires the commissioner to investigate provider complaints and notify the provider of the results of the investigation. Business Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

**SB-146
Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Third Reading Passed, no Amendments

SB-155
Statutory Definition of Construction Defect. Concerning the statutory definition of a construction defect for purposes of the Construction Defect Action Reform Act. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

***SB-156
Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation
or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. Veterans & Military Affairs, Apr 19th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

SB-203
Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. In House, Health & Environment, nothing scheduled

SB-206
Out of Network Providers Payments Patient Notice. The bill outlines the method for a health insurer to use in determining the amount it must pay an out-of-network provider that rendered covered services to a covered person at an in-network facility and requires the health insurer to pay the out-of-network provider directly. The bill also establishes an independent dispute resolution process by which an out-of-network provider may obtain review of a payment from a health insurer. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

SB-207
Strengthen Colorado Behavioral Health Crisis System. The bill clarifies the intent of the general assembly for establishing a coordinated behavioral health crisis response system (crisis system). Judiciary. Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-213
Automated Driving Motor Vehicles. The bill declares that the regulation of automated driving systems is a matter of statewide concern, and, therefore, local authorities are prohibited from regulating these systems. The use of automated driving systems is authorized if the system is capable of conforming to every state and federal law applying to driving. If not, a person testing a system is required to coordinate with the Colorado state patrol and the Colorado department of transportation. In House, Transportation & Energy, Nothing scheduled

*SB-245
Expand ‘Notice to Quit’ ‘Notice of Rent Increase’ from 7 days to 21 days. Allowing more time for the transition prevents a host of additional problems down the road. Mar 27th, General Orders, Second Reading

*Strongly Support      **Support     ***Oppose      ****Strongly Oppose

View Colorado Senior Lobby’s Current Bill Sheet – CLICK HERE
– Steve

Steve Grund serves as Policy Chair for the Colorado Aging Commission and as a legislative liaison for the Colorado Senior Lobby. The Senior Space, however, is a reflection of his views only.
Email Steve Grund

The Senior Space March 20, 2017

The Senior Space March 20, 2017

It’s a bit difficult to play the political game in Colorado when Pac Man is already eating the cards. The States can’t play if DC dramatically changes the rules. As Senator Everett Dirksen reportedly said, “a billion here, a billion there, sooner or later, it adds up to real money.”

Contrary to the nation, Colorado’s checkbook has to balance out each year; so, how does one plan for this new American reality show? How does one debate the value of a proposed annual $300M transportation infrastructure bill when $14B of federal threat looms on the budget horizon?

This brings an entirely new and real meaning to the business term, Disaster Plan. Every company, agency, almost all entities have disaster plans: the economy goes south, a damaging storm, something catastrophic. A ‘just in case’ document. Governor Hickenlooper has already asked his team to come up with potential scenarios; but, there’s a huge difference between millions and billions.

One week from today, the budget process begins with zero visibility in the national forecast, which makes an indoor political game nigh impossible for any state. Alerts have been posted across the country to be on the lookout for expensive solutions in search of a host of problems rather than the other way around. So, it’s not just burning the midnight oil to develop meaningful disaster plans; it’s also preparing for a reality show doomed to a short run.

And, time might just be the ticket. While many are swooning at the proposed re-shaping of our institutions, the political wind must be mighty to keep those proposals afloat for the long term. Some will get the wind knocked out of them, some will gain in emotional intensity. But, time settles all things.
Given the nature of uncertainty, time itself might become the State’s best weapon. Summer session anyone?


New Bills we are watching

HB-1264
PACE Ombudsman Program Add Local Ombudsmen. There is urgent need to get more boots on the ground, especially for our rural citizens. Ombudsmen are our eyes and ears for those who have no voice. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 30th, 1:30p, Room 0107

HB-1279
Construction Defect bill. Require majority approval by homeowners to initiate a legal action against a builder rather than leaving that decision to a homeowner association board. Nothing Scheduled

SB-245
Expand ‘Notice to Quit’ ‘Notice of Rent Increase’ from 7 days to 21 days. Allowing more time for the transition prevents a host of additional problems down the road. Nothing scheduled


Bills we are watching

*Strongly Support      **Support      ***Oppose      ****Strongly Oppose

***HB-1026
Reverse Mortgage Repayment when Home Uninhabitable. Concerning the suspension of a borrower’s obligation to repay a reverse mortgage when a force majeure renders the subject property uninhabitable as a principal residence. Local Government Committee, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0107

**HB-1045
Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. Appropriations, nothing scheduled.

**HB-1067
Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. Signed by the Governor

**HB-1080
Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 28th, Upon Adjournment, 0107

*HB-1087
Office of Public Guardianship Pilot Prevention Program. The bill creates the office of public guardianship (office) within the judicial department to provide legal guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults. Judiciary Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations

HB-1094
Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Clarification of services that should be covered whether via telehealth or in person. Signed by the Governor

*HB-1116
Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance. This bill continues energy-related assistance to low-income households. In Senate, Ag, Natural Resources & Energy, Mar 23rd, 1:30p, Room 357

*HB-1121
Patient Safety Act. The bill requires applicants for initial licensure or certification, as well as current licensees and certificate holders, to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. Includes: Podiatrists, Dentists and dental hygienists, Medical doctors, physician assistants, and anesthesiologists; Nurses, Certified nurse aides, Optometrists and Veterinarians. Finance, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*HB-1126
Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. Senate Health and Human Services, Mar 22nd, Upon Adjournment, SCR 354

*HB-1139
Medicaid Provider Compliance Billing Safety Rules. The bill subjects a provider of Medicaid services to a civil monetary penalty if the provider improperly bills or seeks collection from a Medicaid recipient or the estate of a Medicaid recipient. Public Health Care & Human Services, Nothing Scheduled

*HB-1143
Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. The bill directs the office of the state auditor (OSA) to conduct or cause to be conducted an audit of client communications, including letters and notices, sent to clients or potential clients in Medicaid programs. The audits will be conducted in 2020 and 2023 and thereafter at the discretion of the state auditor. Senate, passed third reading, no amendments, off to the Governor

****HB-1159
Remedies for Forcible Entry and Detainer. The bill adds to the current descriptions of forcible detainer the act of a person preventing an owner from access to or possession of property by locking or changing the lock on the property. The bill creates a procedure for the plaintiff to seek a temporary, mandatory injunction giving the plaintiff possession of the property if a complaint for forcible entry or detainer is filed. The procedure requires the plaintiff to store any personal property found on the property but allows the plaintiff to recover the costs of the storage. The bill establishes as new crimes related to forcible entry and detainer the crimes of unlawful occupancy and unlawful reentry. Judiciary + Appropriations, nothing scheduled

**HB-1175
Domestic Violence Awareness Barbers Cosmetologists. A training bill to improve awareness. General Orders, Second Reading, Mar 27th

***HB-1176
PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Retirees Employed By Rural School Districts. Concerning an extension of the employment after retirement limitations for retirees of the public employees’ retirement association employed by a rural school district after retirement. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*HB-1187
Change Excess State Revenues Cap Growth Factor. Change formula used under TABOR to set spending cap for budget every year. The original formula, a combination of CPI, inflation, %, plus percentage growth in population. This bill says TABOR allows voters to make changes, but a better formula might be growth in personal income, a more effective indicator of economic growth. This bill asks voters to change TABOR to a five year rolling average of income growth as the formula for the cap. Veterans & Military Affairs, Mar 20th, 1:30pm SCR 357

HB-1188
Harassment Sexual Orientation or Disability. The bill adds physical or mental disability and sexual orientation to the categories described in the harassment statute to make the statute consistent with Colorado’s law concerning bias-motivated crimes. House, Third Reading Passed, no Amendments

**HB-1191
Demographic Notes for Certain Legislative Bills. The bill requires the staff of the legislative council to prepare demographic notes on legislative bills in each regular session of the general assembly. The speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, the president of the senate, and the minority leader of the senate are authorized to request 5 demographic notes each, or more at the discretion of the director of research of the legislative council. Finance, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

HB-1222
Create Family Caregiver Support Fund Tax check-off. Caregiving costs in Colorado and across the nation are through the roof with no end in sight. Finance, Mar 20th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

**HB-1242
New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue. This bill requires a ballot question to be submitted to voters in November 2017. The voters will be asked to approve a temporary sales and use tax rate increase with the money going solely to fund transportation infrastructure issues. Transportation & Energy, Mar 22nd, 1:30p, Room 0112

HB-1246
Task Force Recommendations for Heart Attack Care. A task force was created out of SB13-225 to improve quality of care to STEM1 heart attack patients. This bill implements or modifies the recommendations of that panel. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 21st, Upon Adjournment, Room 0107

*HB-1253
Protect Seniors from Financial Abuse. If licensed securities professionals (qualified individuals), while acting within the scope of their employment, reasonably suspect that an elderly or at-risk person is the subject of financial exploitation, the bill requires the broker-dealer or investment adviser to report to the commissioner of securities (commissioner). Public Health Care & Human Services, Mar 28th, 1:30p, Room 0107


****SB-003
Repeal Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. Repeals the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2010 and gives that entity one year to ‘wind up its affairs’ by January 1st, 2018. Finance Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations.

****SB-004
Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. Veterans & Military Affairs, April 13th, Upon Adjournment, Room LSB-A

**SB-011
Study Transportation Access for People with Disabilities. How can advanced technologies improve and increase access for people with disabilities? This would be a pilot project throughout the year. Senate Considered House Amendments-Result was to Concur-Repass. Signed by House Speaker, off to the Governor

***SB-043
Transportation Network Company Drivers Medical Certificate Not Required. The bill eliminates the requirement for a medical certificate for persons who drive for transportation network companies. Transportation & Energy, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

SB-045
Construction Defect Claim Allocation of Defense Costs. Concerning a requirement for equitable allocation of the costs of defending a construction defect claim. This is just one bill expected on the construction defects issue. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations

**SB-057
Colorado Healthcare Affordability & Sustainability Enterprise. This is the Hospital Provider Fee bill. Concerning the creation of an enterprise that is exempt from the requirements of section 20 of article X of the state constitution and related statutory provisions to administer a fee-based healthcare affordability and sustainability program for hospitals. Finance Committee, Mar 21st, 2:00p, Room 271

**SB-065
Transparency in Direct Pay Health Care Prices. Concerning a requirement that health care providers disclose the charges they impose for common health care services when payment is made directly rather than by a third party. Health & Human Services Committee, Mar 21st, General Orders, Second Reading

SB-075
Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*SB-091
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

SB-105
Consumer Right to Know Electric Utility Charges. Concerning consumers’ right to know their electric utility charges by requiring investor-owned electric utilities to provide their customers with a comprehensive breakdown of cost on their monthly bills. Transportation & Energy, Apr 12th, 1:30p, Room 0112

*SB-121
Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-133
Insurance Commissioner Investigation of Provider Complaints. Requires the commissioner to investigate provider complaints and notify the provider of the results of the investigation. Business Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

**SB-146
Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. General Orders, Second Reading of Bills, Mar 21st

SB-155
Statutory Definition of Construction Defect. Concerning the statutory definition of a construction defect for purposes of the Construction Defect Action Reform Act. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

***SB-156
Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation
or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. Veterans & Military Affairs, Apr 19th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

SB-203
Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. Business, Labor & Technology, Mar 20th, General Orders, Second Reading of Bills

SB-206
Out of Network Providers Payments Patient Notice. The bill outlines the method for a health insurer to use in determining the amount it must pay an out-of-network provider that rendered covered services to a covered person at an in-network facility and requires the health insurer to pay the out-of-network provider directly. The bill also establishes an independent dispute resolution process by which an out-of-network provider may obtain review of a payment from a health insurer. Business, Labor & Technology, Mar 21st, Upon Adjournment, SCR 354

SB-207
Strengthen Colorado Behavioral Health Crisis System. The bill clarifies the intent of the general assembly for establishing a coordinated behavioral health crisis response system (crisis system). Judiciary. Mar 22nd 1:30p, SCR 352

SB-213
Automated Driving Motor Vehicles. The bill declares that the regulation of automated driving systems is a matter of statewide concern, and, therefore, local authorities are prohibited from regulating these systems. The use of automated driving systems is authorized if the system is capable of conforming to every state and federal law applying to driving. If not, a person testing a system is required to coordinate with the Colorado state patrol and the Colorado department of transportation. Mar 21st, General Orders, Second Reading of Bills

*Strongly Support      **Support      ***Oppose      ****Strongly Oppose

View Colorado Senior Lobby’s Current Bill Sheet – CLICK HERE
– Steve

Steve Grund serves as Policy Chair for the Colorado Aging Commission and as a legislative liaison for the Colorado Senior Lobby. The Senior Space, however, is a reflection of his views only.
Email Steve Grund

The Senior Space March 13, 2017

The Senior Space March 13, 2017

We are halfway through the legislative session; but, the problem is the rest of the way is all uphill. While we were all taught to ‘save the best for last,’ our General Assembly has pretty much saved everything for last.

Before we get to what needs to be done or even what’s going to be done, we first need to get our arms around where we are right now….and, we really don’t know. For example, revenue. At the end of this week, we’ll get a view of the updated revenue projections. And, then, there are the expenses. At issue is a $500M spending gap for the upcoming budget year. Plus, we are still looking at an estimated $110M shortfall for this year; which, by law, we have to balance, before we get into next year.

Our leaders will be dealing with that while also anticipating the new ($28B) budget process, which starts in two weeks. And then, finally, to the difficult issues that tend to get saved for last:

  • will an annual $300M transportation infrastructure tax increase get in front of the voters in November
  • will senior homeowners lose their property tax break through a revamping of the Homestead Act?
  • will a Hospital Provider Fee be used to ease the budget crisis?
  • will there ever be a Construction Defects bill that addresses concerns both sides can tolerate?
  • will Healthcare changes hold so many other wish-lists hostage with billions of Medicaid dollars in the balance?

So, if you are hoping that you can get moment with your legislators between now and the end of the session, the best way to tackle that challenge is to join us this Wednesday, March 15th, for Senior Day at the Capitol. Doors open at 8am – LEARN MORE


New Bills we are watching

HB-1242
New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue. This bill requires a ballot question to be submitted to voters in November 2017. The voters will be asked to approve a temporary sales and use tax rate increase with the money going solely to fund transportation infrastructure issues. Nothing scheduled

HB-1246
Task Force Recommendations for Heart Attack Care. A task force was created out of SB13-225 to improve quality of care to STEM1 heart attack patients. This bill implements or modifies the recommendations of that panel. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 21st, Room 0107

*HB-1253
Protect Seniors from Financial Abuse. If specified, if licensed securities professionals (qualified individuals), while acting within the scope of their employment, reasonably suspect that an elderly or at-risk person is the subject of financial exploitation, the bill requires the broker-dealer or investment adviser to report to the commissioner of securities (commissioner). Nothing scheduled


Bills we are watching

*Strongly Support     **Support     ***Oppose     ****Strongly Oppose

***HB-1026
Reverse Mortgage Repayment when Home Uninhabitable. Concerning the suspension of a borrower’s obligation to repay a reverse mortgage when a force majeure renders the subject property uninhabitable as a principal residence. Local Government Committee, Mar 15th, 1:30p, Room 0107

**HB-1045
Extend Home Care Allowance Grant Program. Appropriations, nothing scheduled.

**HB-1067
Update National Standards Citations Accessible Housing. Off to the Governor

**HB-1080
Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Health, Insurance & Environment, Mar 14th, Upon Adjournment, 0107

*HB-1087
Office of Public Guardianship Pilot Prevention Program. The bill creates the office of public guardianship (office) within the judicial department to provide legal guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults. Judiciary Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations

HB-1094
Telehealth Coverage under Health Benefit Plans. Clarification of services that should be covered whether via telehealth or in person. Signed by the Governor

*HB-1116
Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance. This bill continues energy-related assistance to low-income households. In Senate, Ag, Natural Resources & Energy, nothing scheduled

HB-1121
Patient Safety Act. The bill requires applicants for initial licensure or certification, as well as current licensees and certificate holders, to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. Includes: Podiatrists, Dentists and dental hygienists, Medical doctors, physician assistants, and anesthesiologists; Nurses, Certified nurse aides, Optometrists and Veterinarians. Finance, Mar 13th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

*HB-1126
Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. Senate Health and Human Services, nothing scheduled

*HB-1139
Medicaid Provider Compliance Billing Safety Rules. The bill subjects a provider of Medicaid services to a civil monetary penalty if the provider improperly bills or seeks collection from a Medicaid recipient or the estate of a Medicaid recipient. Public Health Care & Human Services, Nothing Scheduled

*HB-1143
Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. The bill directs the office of the state auditor (OSA) to conduct or cause to be conducted an audit of client communications, including letters and notices, sent to clients or potential clients in Medicaid programs. The audits will be conducted in 2020 and 2023 and thereafter at the discretion of the state auditor. Senate, passed third reading, no amendments, off to the Governor

****HB-1159
Remedies for Forcible Entry and Detainer. The bill adds to the current descriptions of forcible detainer the act of a person preventing an owner from access to or possession of property by locking or changing the lock on the property. The bill creates a procedure for the plaintiff to seek a temporary, mandatory injunction giving the plaintiff possession of the property if a complaint for forcible entry or detainer is filed. The procedure requires the plaintiff to store any personal property found on the property but allows the plaintiff to recover the costs of the storage. The bill establishes as new crimes related to forcible entry and detainer the crimes of unlawful occupancy and unlawful reentry. Judiciary + Appropriations, nothing scheduled

***HB-1176
PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Retirees Employed By Rural School Districts.
Concerning an extension of the employment after retirement limitations for retirees of the public employees’ retirement association employed by a rural school district after retirement. Finance, Mar. 15th, Upon Adjournment, Room LSB-A

*HB-1187
Change Excess State Revenues Cap Growth Factor. Change formula used under TABOR to set spending cap for budget every year. The original formula, a combination of CPI, inflation, %, plus percentage growth I population. This bill says TABOR allows voters to make changes, but a better formula might be growth in personal income, a more effective indicator of economic growth. This bill asks voters to change TABOR to a five year rolling average of income growth as the formula for the cap. Veterans & Military Affairs, nothing scheduled

HB-1188
Harassment Sexual Orientation or Disability. The bill adds physical or mental disability and sexual orientation to the categories described in the harassment statute to make the statute consistent with Colorado’s law concerning bias-motivated crimes. Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole, Mar 14th General Orders, Second Reading

**HB-1191
Demographic Notes for Certain Legislative Bills. The bill requires the staff of the legislative council to prepare demographic notes on legislative bills in each regular session of the general assembly. The speaker of the house of representatives, the minority leader of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the minority leader of the senate are authorized to request 5 demographic notes each, or more at the discretion of the director of research of the legislative council. Finance, Mar 13th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

HB-1213
Transfers of Automobile Titles upon Death. Clarifies liability of current law. Transportation & Energy, Mar 16th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0112

HB-1222
Create Family Caregiver Support Fund Tax check-off. Caregiving costs in Colorado and across the nation are through the roof with no end in sight. Finance, Mar 20th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

****SB-003
Repeal Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. Repeals the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2010 and gives that entity one year to ‘wind up its affairs’ by January 1st, 2018. Finance Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations.

****SB-004
Access to Providers for Medicaid Recipients. Concerning access by Medicaid recipients to non-enrolled medical providers. April 13th, Upon Adjournment

**SB-011
Study Transportation Access for People with Disabilities. How can advanced technologies improve and increase access for people with disabilities? This would be a pilot project throughout the year. Senate Considered House Amendments-Result was to Concur-Repass. Off to the Governor

***SB-043
Transportation Network Company Drivers Medical Certificate Not Required. The bill eliminates the requirement for a medical certificate for persons who drive for transportation network companies. Transportation & Energy, Mar 15th, 1:30p, Room 0112

SB-045
Construction Defect Claim Allocation of Defense Costs. Concerning a requirement for equitable allocation of the costs of defending a construction defect claim. This is just one bill expected on the construction defects issue. Business, Labor & Technology Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations

**SB-057
Colorado Healthcare Affordability & Sustainability Enterprise. This is the Hospital Provider Fee bill. Concerning the creation of an enterprise that is exempt from the requirements of section 20 of article X of the state constitution and related statutory provisions to administer a fee-based healthcare affordability and sustainability program for hospitals. Finance Committee, nothing scheduled

**SB-065
Transparency in Direct Pay Health Care Prices. Concerning a requirement that health care providers disclose the charges they impose for common health care services when payment is made directly rather than by a third party. Health & Human Services Committee, Mar 16th, 1:30p, Room 0107

SB-075
Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits. Concerning a state income tax deduction for military retirement benefits. Finance Committee. Refer Unamended to Appropriations

*SB-091
Allow Medicaid Home Health Services. Removes restriction that services be provided in the home alone. Health & Human Services Committee, Refer Unamended to Appropriations

SB-105
Consumer Right to Know Electric Utility Charges. Concerning consumers’ right to know their electric utility charges by requiring investor-owned electric utilities to provide their customers with a comprehensive breakdown of cost on their monthly bills. Transportation & Energy, Mar 22nd, 1:30p, Room 0112

*SB-121
Improve Medicaid Client Correspondence. Ensure due process is being followed. Health & Human Services, Refer Amended to Appropriations

SB-133
Insurance Commissioner Investigation of Provider Complaints. Requires the commissioner to investigate provider complaints and notify the provider of the results of the investigation. Business Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

**SB-146
Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Health, Insurance and Environment, In House, Mar 16th, 1:30p, Room 0107

SB-155
Statutory Definition of Construction Defect. Concerning the statutory definition of a construction defect for purposes of the ‘Construction Defect Action Reform Act. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

***SB-156
Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation
or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. Third Reading Passed, No Amendments

SB-157
Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval. The bill requires that, before the executive board of a unit owners’ association (HOA) in a common interest community brings suit against a developer or builder on behalf of unit owners, the board must notify all unit owners; and except when the HOA contracted with the developer or builder for the work complained of or the amount in controversy is less than $100,000, obtain the approval of a majority of the unit owners after giving them detailed disclosures about the lawsuit and its potential costs and benefits. The bill also limits the amount and type of contact that a developer or builder that is potentially subject to a lawsuit may have with individual unit owners while the HOA is seeking their approval for the lawsuit. Business Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

***SB-158
Modify Composition Of PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Board Of Trustees. Concerning modifications to the composition of the board of trustees of the public employees’ retirement association. Veteran & Military Affairs, Mar 15th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

SB-203
Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. Business, Labor & Technology, Mar 15th, 2:00p, SCR 354

SB-206
Out of Network Providers Payments Patient Notice. The bill outlines the method for a health insurer to use in determining the amount it must pay an out-of-network provider that rendered covered services to a covered person at an in-network facility and requires the health insurer to pay the out-of-network provider directly. The bill also establishes an independent dispute resolution process by which an out-of-network provider may obtain review of a payment from a health insurer. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

SB-207
Strengthen Colorado Behavioral Health Crisis System. The bill clarifies the intent of the general assembly for establishing a coordinated behavioral health crisis response system (crisis system). Judiciary. Mar 22nd 1:30p, SCR 352

*Strongly Support     **Support     ***Oppose     ****Strongly Oppose

View Colorado Senior Lobby’s Current Bill Sheet – CLICK HERE
– Steve

Steve Grund serves as Policy Chair for the Colorado Aging Commission and as a legislative liaison for the Colorado Senior Lobby. The Senior Space, however, is a reflection of his views only.
Email Steve

The Senior Space March 6, 2017

The Senior Space March 6, 2017

The key to citizen lobbying is cookies. 450 cookies. That’s why Jeanette Hensley is our treasurer. Cookies. It’s her way of inviting the General Assembly to our big event next week.

At 9:00am on March 15th, the doors will open to the Old Supreme Court Chambers; and, Senior Day at the Capitol will commence for the 36th year. We’ll have a lot to discuss.

Our lifeline to healthcare is in the crosshairs. That puts seniors in play, and when seniors are in play, seniors are in politics. This is not politics practiced by the pros, but politics practiced by motivated people. These active people have a deep curiosity engaging a system that, folks, is not that hard to grasp. Join us, and get a good taste of it here:

  • Governor Hickenlooper and Lt. Governor Lynne are both scheduled to engage the audience, likely with their Healthcare Day of Action, their bold new agenda
  • Colorado Senior Lobby’s volunteers, who produce this event every year, will host a citizen interactive roundtable in the afternoon session for all who attend. Former state leaders will facilitate that discussion
  • Certainly the most refreshing element this year is coming from Metro State University’s [M] Met Media students. They are not only providing production coverage for the day’s events, but conducting interviews, streaming the event to various locations throughout the state and providing live coverage to their own Internet station. It’s hoped the interaction of the young with the not-so-young helps to create a model for further partnerships down the road
  • Most importantly, you get to talk to your leaders directly. Tell them what’s on your mind; ask them to share ideas on how to address the issues that challenge your lives each day

Learn more about the event, the streaming, the Senior Day afternoon luncheon and Colorado Senior
Lobby at the group’s website. Sign up for our eNewsletter and weekly legislative updates. We are advocating for all Coloradans, because we are all aging. www.ColoradoSeniorLobby.org


New Bills we are watching

HB-1222
Create Family Caregiver Support Fund Tax check-off. Speaks for itself. Caregiving costs in Colorado and across the nation are through the roof with no end in sight. Nothing scheduled

SB-203
Prohibit Carrier from Requiring Alternative Drug. Prohibits a carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

SB-206
Out of Network Providers Payments Patient Notice. The bill outlines the method for a health insurer to use in determining the amount it must pay an out-of-network provider that rendered covered services to a covered person at an in-network facility and requires the health insurer to pay the out-of-network provider directly. The bill also establishes an independent dispute resolution process by which an out-of-network provider may obtain review of a payment from a health insurer. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

SB-207
Strengthen Colorado Behavioral Health Crisis System. The bill clarifies the intent of the general assembly for establishing a coordinated behavioral health crisis response system (crisis system). Judiciary. Nothing scheduled


Bills we are watching

HB-1026
Reverse Mortgage Repayment when Home Uninhabitable. Concerning the suspension of a borrower’s obligation to repay a reverse mortgage when a force majeure renders the subject property uninhabitable as a principal residence. Local Government Committee, Mar 15th, 1:30p, Room 0107

HB-1080
Requirement Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers. Individuals in the state, closer to other state borders, can only find suppliers across the border. This is primarily an access bill. Current law says the supplier must be from Colorado. Health, Insurance & Environment Committee

HB-1087
Office of Public Guardianship Pilot Prevention Program. The bill creates the office of public guardianship (office) within the judicial department to provide legal guardianship services to indigent and incapacitated adults. Judiciary Committee, Refer Amended to Appropriations

HB-1116
Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance. This bill continues energy-related assistance to low-income households. Mar 7th, General Orders, 2nd reading

HB-1121
Patient Safety Act. The bill requires applicants for initial licensure or certification, as well as current licensees and certificate holders, to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. Includes: Podiatrists, Dentists and dental hygienists, Medical doctors, physician assistants, and anesthesiologists; Nurses, Certified nurse aides, Optometrists and Veterinarians. Health, Insurance & Environment, nothing scheduled

HB-1126
Medicaid Appeal Review Legal Notice Requirements. The bill requires the administrative law judge hearing Medicaid appeals to review the legal sufficiency of the notice of action from which the recipient is appealing at the commencement of the appeal hearing if the notice of action concerns the termination or reduction of an existing benefit. If the notice is legally insufficient, the judge shall advise the appellant that he or she may waive the defense of insufficient notice and proceed to a hearing on the merits or may ask the judge to decide the appeal based on the judge’s finding of insufficiency. The judge shall advise the appellant that a legally sufficient notice may be issued in the future and that the state may recoup benefits from the appellant. Senate Health and Human Services. Mar 9th, 1:30p, SCR 354

HB-1139
Medicaid Provider Compliance Billing Safety Rules. The bill subjects a provider of Medicaid services to a civil monetary penalty if the provider improperly bills or seeks collection from a Medicaid recipient or the estate of a Medicaid recipient. Public Health Care & Human Services, Nothing Scheduled

HB-1143
Audits of Medicaid Client Correspondence. The bill directs the office of the state auditor (OSA) to conduct or cause to be conducted an audit of client communications, including letters and notices, sent to clients or potential clients in Medicaid programs. The audits will be conducted in 2020 and 2023 and thereafter at the discretion of the state auditor. Senate Committee of the Whole, Mar 6th, Second Reading

HB-1176
PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Retirees Employed By Rural School Districts.
Concerning an extension of the employment after retirement limitations for retirees of the public employees’ retirement association employed by a rural school district after retirement. Finance, Mar. 15th, Upon Adjournment, Room LSB-A

HB-1187
Change Excess State Revenues Cap Growth Factor. Change formula used under TABOR to set spending cap for budget every year. The original formula, a combination of CPI, inflation, %, plus percentage growth I population. This bill says TABOR allows voters to make changes, but a better formula might be growth in personal income, a more effective indicator of economic growth. This bill asks voters to change TABOR to a five year rolling average of income growth as the formula for the cap.

HB-1188
Harassment Sexual Orientation or Disability. The bill adds physical or mental disability and sexual orientation to the categories described in the harassment statute to make the statute consistent with Colorado’s law concerning bias-motivated crimes. Judiciary, Mar 9th, 1:30p, Room 0112

HB-1191
Demographic Notes for Certain Legislative Bills. Finance, Mar 13th, 1:30p, Room LSB-A

HB-1213
Transfers of Automobile Titles upon Death. Clarifies liability of current law. Transportation & Energy, Mar 16th, Upon Adjournment, Room 0112


SB-146
Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Concerning access to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Health, Insurance and Environment, Introduced in House, Nothing scheduled

SB-155
Statutory Definition of Construction Defect. Concerning the statutory definition of a construction defect for purposes of the ‘Construction Defect Action Reform Act. Business, Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

SB-156
Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines. The bill states that when the governing documents of a common interest community require mediation or arbitration of a construction defect claim and the requirement is later amended or removed, mediation
or arbitration is still required for a construction defect claim. General Orders, Mar 6th, 2nd Reading

SB-157
Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval. The bill requires that, before the executive board of a unit owners’ association (HOA) in a common interest community brings suit against a developer or builder on behalf of unit owners, the board must notify all unit owners; and except when the HOA contracted with the developer or builder for the work complained of or the amount in controversy is less than $100,000, obtain the approval of a majority of the unit owners after giving them detailed disclosures about the lawsuit and its potential costs and benefits. The bill also limits the amount and type of contact that a developer or builder that is potentially subject to a lawsuit may have with individual unit owners while the HOA is seeking their approval for the lawsuit. Business Labor & Technology, Nothing scheduled

SB-158
Modify Composition Of PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Board Of Trustees. Concerning modifications to the composition of the board of trustees of the public employees’ retirement association. Third Reading Passed, No Amendments

View Colorado Senior Lobby’s Current Bill Sheet – CLICK HERE
– Steve

Steve Grund serves as Policy Chair for the Colorado Aging Commission and as a legislative liaison for the Colorado Senior Lobby. The Senior Space, however, is a reflection of his views only.
Email Steve